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Troops deployed to Toronto-area long-term care homes to start heading home

Last Updated Jun 21, 2020 at 12:44 pm PDT

Members of the Canadian Armed Forces speak together outside a training session before deploying to seniors' residences, Wednesday, April 29, 2020 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

OTTAWA — Ontario drivers are being told to stay on the lookout for military vehicles on the roads this week as hundreds of Canadian Armed Forces members deployed to long-term care facilities in the Greater Toronto Area start to head home.

Around 500 military members and their associated equipment were gathered at Canadian Forces Base Borden north of Toronto in early April to support the federal government’s response to COVID-19.

Many of those troops were eventually deployed to seven long-term care homes hit hard by COVID-19.

They found cases of abuse and negligence as well as bug infestations, bleeding infections and residents being left crying for help for hours.

Their observations were compiled into a damning report releases last month that has sparked several lawsuits as well as calls for an overhaul of how Ontario’s long-term care homes are managed.

The Armed Forces say that with their mission now complete, the troops are scheduled to return to their home units across Ontario on Monday and Thursday, during which time a large number of military vehicles will be on the roads.